August 11-15, 2014


Studying the binary central stars of planetary nebulae

Henri Boffin (ESO, Chile)

Binarity and mass transfer has long been thought to be important in the formation and evolution of planetary nebulae - particularly in those presenting axisymmetric structures.  Our recent discoveries confirm this hypothesis and allow us to reconstruct the mass transfer history of these systems.  I will highlight the most interesting cases, including the many objects we have identified as having formed jet-like structures during a mass transfer episode prior to the common-envelope phase.  I will also discuss the importance of the growing sample of "fresh out of the oven" post-common-envelope central stars, as well as several cases, recently discovered, of planetary nebulae showing carbon and s-process enhancement and their importance in constraining theories of the poorly understood common-envelope phase of binary evolution and their link with carbon dwarfs, barium stars and other peculiar red giants.

Mode of presentation: oral